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By Beth Kaszuba

Maybe you tie a hammock between two trees, snuggle under a scratchy wool blanket and stare up at the stars.

Or maybe your idea of roughing it is settling for 300-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets instead of 1,000 and a concierge-fed campfire that crackles softly outside your apartment-sized tent.

No matter what your style, camping (or, yes, glamping) is good for body, mind and soul.

Campers enjoying a fire under the the star-filled nighttime sky.

The sense of awe that nature inspires. Unplugging from screens. Breathing fresh air. And connecting with your crew, free of distractions. It’s all beneficial.

As we continue to be cautious about crowds, camping with your closest friends and family is our No. 1 pick for a safe, healthy vacation adventure this summer.

Looking for an option between total exposure to the elements and getting your glamp on?

Many of Pennsylvania’s state parks rent out cabins and yurts that put nature at your doorstep, without the hassle of pitching a tent. (You’ll probably also have electricity and a fridge, although the bathroom might be primitive and a short walk away.)

Launch your adventure:

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Camp Victory Logo

Victory is theirs.

Camping really can help heal what ails us.

Just ask the Geisinger staff who share their time and talents at Camp Victory in Millville, Columbia County.

The camp, founded in 1986, gives kids with special needs and serious illnesses — including cancer, spina bifida and seizure disorders — a chance to make new friends while taking part in activities like archery, zip lining or swimming.

“The diseases they have are truly life-altering,” says pediatric hospitalist Paul Bellino, MD, who’s volunteered for more than 20 years. “Often, outside of camp, they lack a peer group that understands their lives and circumstances.”

Because some campers might need treatments like dialysis or chemotherapy, volunteers like Dr. Bellino are available around the clock, which benefits the providers, too. “It’s a chance to get to know the kids we treat better, outside of an office,” Dr. Bellino says.

He adds, “There was one boy — he got almost panicky on the first day. It turns out he’d never used his wheelchair on grass before. He was almost crying with excitement. I said, ‘Hey, buddy, we’ve got a lot of grass here. Get out there and roll all over it.’”

Hobo packets are a great never-fail meal when cooking outdoors.

Campfire cooking should start with great ingredients.

Check out how to source local produce here. Find an easy recipe for a hobo pack here!

Hit the road with hobo packs.
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